052. Living As You Need to From Your Perspective with Dai Manuel

Dai Manuel is a super dad, dating his wife and currently doing life with his family around the globe. 

He is also an award-winning digital thought leader and author, executive performance coach and certified lifestyle mentor who empowers people to lead a FUN-ctionally fit life through education, encouragement, and community. 

Dai models his work based on 5 F’s: Fitness, Family, Finances, Faith with an overarching roof of FUN, built on a rock-solid foundation of Health. 

As a former partner and Chief Operating Officer of a multi-million dollar retail company, a keynote speaker, brand ambassador, competitive athlete, a family man, and community leader, Dai knows the struggle of the juggle and keeping his health and happiness a priority.

Dai and his family are on a mission to impact one million role models through education, entertainment, and inspiration by 2020. He’s also a good friend who became a mentor to me when I was starting my journey to create what became Do a Day, including pushing me to see what I could create by bringing my thoughts together in my book. Dai is an amazing human being full of inspiration, and he shares that with us here.

Dai’s gifts to help you make life more awesome:

  1. Join the free 28-day Whole Life Fitness Manifesto program and learn how to maximize your body, mind, and spirit in 30 minutes a day. www.joinwlfm.com
  2. The 99 Bodyweight Workout Guide www.DaiManuel.com/99
  3. How to Develop a Positive Mindset www.daimanuel.com/positive-mindset
  4. The 10 Most Common Low Carb Diet Mistakes www.daimanuel.com/lowcarb 
  5. ‘Why Your Kids Make You Fat’ with the Ultimate Role Model Checklist www.whyyourkidsmakeyoufat.com 
  6. 6-Week Done-With-You Lifestyle program – the RBT Shred @ www.rbtshred.com 

Key Points from the Episode with Dai Manuel:

  • We touched on the interview we did years ago where we talked about Dai’s transformation from being a fellow “Fat Kid” to being this amazing fit and healthy (and inspiring) man. Like me, his original motivation was about not being seen as the fat kid and having girls like him.
  • That set him off on a journey to want more and masking his true feelings with other things – having things, alcohol, narcotics, women and more.
  • That reality existed for over a decade until his wife sat him down, looked at him and asked, “Are you being the type of man that you’d want to marry your daughters?”
  • That hit him – he wasn’t being that man, and he asked himself why.
  • While he initially pushed back on his wife, he did start to reflect and realized how much change was needed, including a lot of self-work. He started to change who he was around and the choices he was making, especially in the career he was in.
  • He had the option of taking over the business he was in, and instead, he and his family broke free. Three years ago, they decided they wanted to hit the road, travel and take in the world.
  • They set out on a road trip for a year across North America, taking in the world first hand. That eventually lead to moving to Bali (at least for a few years).
  • I had to note how different of a man Dai is today versus the last time we talked. There is something so much more profound and open about him after this shift he and his family made three years ago. That experience of the world has clearly moved his sense and understanding of himself.
  • We hit on the Buddhist notion of non-attachment, and how that can lead to such strong self-awareness and movement away from the auto-pilot way we tend to live.
  • When we get on auto-pilot, we tend to stop questioning things and growing – truly growing. Dai’s hope is that people get the chance to pause and ask those questions so they get to have that wake up moment.
  • We touched on the idea of commitment. Part of why they have made things work and grown so much is that they fully committed to the journey. That created a freedom and dedication to going for it and making it work. If you aren’t fully committed, you may do things in a way that holds you back – even slightly – so that you don’t do them well enough to really succeed.
  • We talked about Dai’s childhood, with his parents splitting up, being raised by their mother, and his father’s career. His dad had a successful business he eventually sold. After selling the business, his father started having health issues including cancer and lifestyle illness complications. While Dai was traveling around North America, his father’s health declined, so the family went to spend time with him.
  • After his father passed away, the family decided to travel to Southeast Asia for a three month stay.
  • They rented a home in Bali, and fell in love with all of it – the people, the food, the culture, but mainly the pace of life.  They went back to Canada briefly for business, and then decided to come back to Bali for at least a year.
  • We really started to talk about why Bali feels so good. The pace of life there seems to be a foundational point – when everyone is free of the sort of high-paced burden we tend live with, it almost reframes our humanness and how we relate to others and ourselves.
  • The amount of growth he and his family have experienced as a result of the lifestyle is so strong and recognizable. The full-conviction and commitment to it has been a key to allowing for this growth.
  • We talked about the moments where doing less of the self-work allows for some negative self-talk to creep in. The doubts about career, the future, capabilities, etc creep in.
  • For him, he’s gotten to a place where he knows enough about himself and what his capabilities are, so he’s able to reel that feeling back in, but it still happens. He just has the tools to recognize and face it when it does.
  • When you have a Plan B, that can be helpful, but it can also be a hindrance. He knows there’s a Plan B for him (he can always get a job), but he doesn’t rely on it or think about it actively as it would hold him back. Because of that freedom, they’re now so far down the path away from Plan B that it doesn’t come up anymore.
  • That freedom also has allowed them to see new options and choices they likely wouldn’t see if they were still holding onto the past or the safety-net-style options of Plan B.
  • We hit on the big question of whether you make a leap like his cold turkey, as some advise, or get your ducks in a row and build to it. His advice is to live as you need to live from your perspective. It is your life – own it. Some will need more security, while others will grasp onto that security for perpetuity and never make the leap. If something is making you unhappy, then leave that thing as you need to. If you really need to do it, you will figure out a way. You just need to figure out the process for you.


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